Bassomatic “Ease On By” 1990

A couple of remixes didn’t make it to the earlier part of this blog because, unaccountably, nobody had posted them on YouTube. I now intend to rectify that by posting them myself, starting with this mighty effort from 1990 which I did with Psychic TV refugee John Gosling, aka DJ Sugar J.

Bassomatic were a kind of R ‘n B version of Torch Song, with soul diva Sharon Musgrave on vocals, on the first album anyway. They had a big hit with Fascinating Rhythm and this was the follow-up.

This clip was cobbled together from another video for another song, so it doesn’t exactly sync up, although sometimes it does. John Gosling (really nice guy for an Arsenal fan) makes a brief appearance somewhere in the middle.

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Laibach “Steel Trust” 1990

Sometime late in ’89 Laibach asked me to join them in Paris, where they were working on new material with French songsmith Bertrand Burgalat. This was too intriguing to pass up and I hopped over La Manche without further ado.

What I heard there was a most interesting hybrid of the Laibach vibe and French chanson. That may sound like a complete contradiction, but I happened to know about this propensity of theirs from a francophile mix tape they had given me a few years earlier while preparing the Opus Dei album. For their new work, to be titled Kapital, they wanted this French influence to help underline the album’s theme of the seductive language of capitalism.

Unfortunately the proximity and intensity of their work in Paris caused some tensions to arise between Bertrand and the lads from Ljubljana, and by the time we convened at Mute headquarters to mix the album they were having severe problems working together. Although I thought the mixes were sounding good, these tensions worsened to the point that the work was abandoned. I was gutted, although after my earlier experience with their rejection of the fabulous The Normal remix of Life is Life it wasn’t the biggest surprise.

I thought all of the work lost forever. The CD of Kapital I eventually heard didn’t include any of it; I recently discovered that this one song was included on the vinyl version, which makes that edition something of an industrial Smiley Smile in my book.

After that I stopped paying any attention to Laibach until earlier this year when I began this blog, and I found a heartening and inspiring performance they did just a few months ago in Sweden. Just like me, maybe their “silver fox” years will be their best!

LAPD “Sexploration” 1990

This fun frolic was one of many Crouch End jams that helped launch the short lived but influential Guerilla Records label.

Built on a rather ubiquitous drum loop (sorry ’bout that) the track also features my trusty duelling Roland MC202s, the funky guitar stylings of William Orbit and…well, maybe I should keep quiet about other source material, and simply point out that as always, the vocals of Laurie Mayer take this to a whole new realm.

The track starts at 9:50 in this video.

Odile “Reste Avec Moi” 1990

Another classy song from Odile Arias, this time going out as a solo artist. They really should have made a video clip.

A fortuitous delay in the arrival of some tapes meant we had time to record the excellent instrumental Monghi. You are again directed to the box set from Undo Records which includes all of the recordings from this period.

The accompanying video isn’t the best sound quality; I’ll replace it when I can.

Dominique Dalcan “Comment Faut-Il Faire?” 1990

What the heck, I’m going to mess with the timeline again, this time to jump forward, because I rediscovered this song and I think it’s pretty damn great.

There is more to write about 1989, including sessions with Dusty Springfield, as you shall hear. But around this time I am tiring of my subterranean existence and beginning to take fewer studio assignments. Tony Visconti certainly saw the writing on the wall when he closed down his large studio. By the end of the 80s anybody with a cheap computer, a sampler and a synth could make a good enough track in the comfort of their living room, and many were abandoning the studios to do just that.

This blog will similarly slow down some, as I have an Arnold Turboust album to finish. Bear with me though dear reader, for there is still much to tell.

So let’s jump off the Time Tunnel in late 1990, when I was in Belgium to do some mixes for the excellent Dominique Dalcan, who played and sang everything on this song. It was released on the Crammed Discs label run by Marc Hollander; this is a label that has given me a lot of pleasure over the years, not least with its very first release Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine back in the late 70s.

Also major props to Mr Henry Rollins, who played a track from Onze Danses on his KCRW radio show recently, making a Sunday evening drive to the supermarket an unusually magical experience.